Written by John Burns, Managing Director

In 2005, I was faced with my second hiring decision at Maine Venture Fund.  It came down to two candidates, both highly qualified.  I wavered.  A mentor and MVF board member looked at me quizzically. “Hire Jayme!” she said as if I’d temporarily taken leave of my senses.  I had.  One of the best orders I ever followed.

June 28thwas Jayme Okma Lee’s last day as a full-time employee at Maine Venture Fund.   Jayme has served Maine Venture Fund, it’s board, portfolio companies, prospect companies and innovation economy partners with distinction, grace, professionalism and boundless energy.  She has been a trusted, loyal, supportive and extraordinarily valuable colleague for all of us at MVF.  She has contributed mightily to the mission of investing in, and assisting, early stage growth companies that contribute to the prosperity of Maine.  

Over the years, Jayme took on more and more responsibilities and duties at MVF until, as has been said about Ginger Rogers dancing with Fred Astaire (look it up millennials!), she was doing everything I did “except backwards and in heels” – negotiating investments and working effectively with portfolio prospects and portfolio companies.  Notable in Jayme’s time at MVF has been her involvement as one of the initial partners in #MaineCanDo, her work promoting women angel investors, her work and collaboration with Maine Angels and the New England angel community, and her relationship building across the ecosystem.  

As much as she has done in the public eye, she has contributed at least as much ‘behind the scenes’ at MVF, whether developing internal protocols or effectively promoting the Fund.  She was particularly critical in working collaboratively with FAME & DECD in getting MVF established as one of the three conduits for investments through the federal State Small Business Credit Initiative program.  

We all owe Jayme a great deal of thanks for her effective business building economic development work which has contributed directly to a more prosperous Maine.    

For several months, Jayme will be doing some consulting work for a variety of entities, including, I’m happy to say, MVF.  And, over the summer, Jayme and her family will be preparing to head out to sea for “several years”.  

We are all excited for Jayme and her family and wish her Bon Voyage!

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore! Dream! Discover!”  Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain)

We are all excited for Jayme and her family and wish her Bon Voyage!

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